[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Bug#523093: undetermined copyright/license violation

In message <[🔎] 20090410141624.GB28701@thorin>, Robert Millan <rmh@aybabtu.com> writes

I reply to this separately, because it's quite off-topic and unrelated
to the problem at hand.  I don't want to add noise to the wnpp log.

On Fri, Apr 10, 2009 at 09:37:22AM +0100, Anthony W. Youngman wrote:
THAT is why it is downright
offensive to change the licence on minor modifications to someone else's

It is not.  The author chose a license that explicitly allows this,
in section 12, because they didn't want to prevent the license from
being upgraded by third parties.  This is precisely what is happening.

Just because the author allows it, doesn't mean it isn't offensive. Your small change is taking a lot of rights away from other people. It may be legal and permitted, but isn't it one of the principles of Free Software that downstream can't take away rights granted by upstream? Yet that's exactly what this does!

If you do a major rewrite and just re-use part of the old code, then fair enough. But if your changes are minimal then you are preventing your recipients from exercising their rights wrt the *majority* of the code (at least, not without considerable wasted effort stripping out your changes). That's not on.

legal result may not matter when mixing licences. But the Free Software
world places the SPIRIT of the grant much higher than the letter

The spirit of LGPL (or GPL for that matter) never intended to allow use of
patents as a means to impose a tax on software covered by the license, and
Novell is doing exactly that.  Looks like fair play to me.

That's what I meant about "breaking the Spirit makes enemies"! Novell are seen as not playing fair, and if we play the same tricks back on Novell then as you say, "fair's fair". But just because we're playing "tit for tat" with Novell, doesn't justify us pulling the same trick on other people "just because we can".

Anthony W. Youngman - anthony@thewolery.demon.co.uk

Reply to: